Organizing Your Homeschool … Time Management … Homeschool Planning … Meal Planning … Housecleaning
How do you get it all done when you are homeschooling? Juggling all your activities can be a real challenge for homeschool moms. I used a few tricks in my homeschool to “get it all done” or at least feel like I got it done, if you know what I mean.
You might wonder how car school can help you get it all done. When we first started homeschooling Ashley & Gentry, Hunter attended Kindergarten at a private, Christian school. We used our time in the car, to and from school, for the girls to homeschool. When I shared what we were doing with a mom at Hunter’s school, she said, “Oh, you car school”. That stuck with me.
Many times we were not finished with homeschooling when it was time to pick up Hunter, so I told the girls to grab their book and bring it in the car. They read in the car. They worked on Grammar in the car. They finished Math problems in the car.
One of my favorite ways to Car School is listening. We listened to Grammar Songs, Geography Songs, Old Testament Songs. Music helped our kids remember what they were learning, so I popped in a CD (back in the Stone Ages of CDs) and we sang songs together. Often, our kids did not even realize they were learning.
We also listened to audio books and stories. Although I enjoyed reading aloud to our kids, sometimes I needed a break. Sometimes, I needed to get something done. So, we would listen to our books on audio.
What ways might you Car School?
More than likely you’ve at least heard the term, time blocking. You may not how to use it, but you’ve heard the term. For me, I blocked times of the day so I could focus on one activity at a time. When I was trying to multi-task, I never got anything done well. How did time blocking work in our homeschool?
Mornings were set aside for homeschool. After breakfast, our kids got dressed, practiced the piano, sang and danced to their Bible song (when they were young), while I cleaned up the kitchen. A clean kitchen counter and sink helped me feel like I could focus on homeschooling all morning.
From breakfast to lunch, I focused on homeschooling. I didn’t check social media. I didn’t plan meals. I didn’t clean the bathroom. I didn’t answer the phone. (We didn’t have texting back then.) I focused on my kids and their education from 9am to 12noon. That’s a 3-hour time block I shut out the rest of the world and built a strong relationship with each of my kids.
The rest of the day was up for grabs.
Afternoons were spent working on our family businesses or driving the kids to activities or cleaning up the house. When the kids were little, I blocked off Tuesday afternoons to do Steve’s bookkeeping. Now, I do bookkeeping on Thursday mornings.
To keep up with laundry, I blocked off Mondays and Thursdays to do laundry. I didn’t want piles of laundry to deal with every day, so we only cleaned clothes on two days. The following day, was laundry-folding day. While we read aloud, the kids folded laundry. It gave them something to do with their hands so they could listen better. And, we got the laundry done.
After read aloud, they took their basket to their room and put away their clothes. At least in theory, they put away their clothes. Some of them had a harder time completing that task than others.
How can you block times during the week to focus on homeschooling and other regular activities?
Involve Your Kids
I involved my kids in the daily activities of keeping our home. I already shared how we did laundry together. Each of my kids had responsibilities around our home. This included, vacuuming, laundry, bathrooms, take out the trash, feed the dog. Our children were a part of our family so they each contributed to keeping up our home. These jobs changed as they got older and could do more difficult tasks.
Another way I involved my kids in homeschool planning was to let them plan their homeschool week. Once they were in high school, I no longer gave them a weekly plan of assignments. On Monday mornings, I met with each one to fill out their weekly assignment chart. After 4-5 months, they could usually do this on their own.
Besides learning study skills and time management, I believe this process allowed our kids to take ownership of their education. They weaned themselves off their teacher (me) and started learning on their own.
Isn’t that what you want for your kids?
For them to have the tools of learning and a love of learning, so they can learn on their own for a lifetime? If so, take the burden of planning off yourself, train your kids how to plan their homeschool in high school and let them make decisions about their own education.
How will you involve your kids in homeschool planning and keeping up with your home?